The debate surrounding ESG strategies has been highly politicized, with arguments about its impact on risk protection and long-term performance going back and forth. Research in this area has primarily focused on public markets due to data availability. As a result, private market investors have struggled to obtain the necessary information for decision-making processes. PitchBook recently released a report examining the correlation between ESG commitments and private equity returns, which we think is a start. To read the full thing click here, but for what we feel are the key findings, keep on reading:
- The prevalence of ESG in private markets, measured by PRI signatory status, is growing rapidly. The number of PRI signatory general partners (GPs) increased from 155 in 2010 to 2,351 in 2023, raising $2.5 trillion in capital.
- Venture capital (VC) firms are less frequent signatories, potentially due to resource constraints, limited awareness of ESG’s alignment with the VC industry, and fewer incentives to join.
- European funds have a significant presence among PRI signatories, accounting for 43.7% of total capital raised between 2010 and 2022, indicating Europe’s influence in shaping sustainable trends and practices.
- Regression analyses found no statistically significant performance difference between PRI signatory and non-signatory funds.
- However, it’s important to note that many GPs have ESG strategies without being PRI signatories, and not all signatories have fully developed ESG strategies.
While the findings don’t provide a definitive answer on a positive impact of PRI commitments on investment returns, for those that believe committing to ESG will harm returns, this report at least shows that is not the case either. It is difficult to assess funds with different investment strategies in different geographies with different sizes just with one factor (ESG commitments). Thus, a future analysis where funds are more segregated could make sense.
I hope you found this interesting. As usual, if there is anything we can help you with, or if there is an ESG topic you would like to know more about, please let us know.
CEO, Miranda ESG
Contacts at Miranda Partners